Now Profitable in Major Markets, Lyft Rolls Out National Marketing Campaign

The fast-growing ride-sharing company made a slew of announcements today, including a new hire and branding initiative.

After a year of reported five-fold growth in revenue and ridership, Lyft today announced a number of metrics and milestones as well as initiatives for 2015. According to cofounder and CEO Logan Green, Lyft is now profitable in its most established markets, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, and Seattle. And while he won’t share specific numbers, Green also says that in 2014 the ride-sharing company gained market share against its much larger rival Uber.

Part of Lyft’s enormous growth in the past 12 months included expansion into 45 new markets and the launch of carpooling service Lyft Line, which the company says accounts for 30% of rides in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Lyft has also added four new top executives in the past quarter: CMO Kira Wampler, VP of Product Tali Rapaport, CFO Brian Roberts, and announced today, VP of Partnerships Oliver Hsiang, who joins the company from LinkedIn. As Fast Company recently reported, the appointments of Wampler and Rapaport mean that 14 of Lyft’s top 30 executives, 47%, are women.

Now, says Green, “we’re making major investments in the brand.” This includes Lyft’s first national marketing campaign with creative agency Eleven, known for work with Virgin America and Apple. “2015 is the year for us to get out in front of people using humor and accessibility in a way that’s fun and different,” says creative director Jesse McMillin, who joined Lyft last year from Virgin America, and was behind last week’s announced redesign of Lyft’s iconic fuzzy pink mustache to a light-up “glowstache” for drivers to display in front windows. “We’ll be a lot more visible than we’ve been in the past.” Rollout of the national campaign begins this week including online and radio ads.

A big part of Lyft’s branding strategy has been to emphasize and encourage a peer relationship between drivers and passengers, including a driver recruitment process that Green says results in only 10% of applicants being hired. A recent study commissioned from Land Econ Group by Lyft showed that 57% of drivers in L.A. and 44% in San Francisco work in creative professions and use Lyft to supplement income. Also in San Francisco, says Green, “Twenty-five percent of drivers are entrepreneurs, using Lyft as a primary source of income while they’re working to start their own businesses.”

To support those drivers, Lyft also announced today a suite of partnerships including a deal with Intuit that allows drivers to do their taxes online for free, a deal with AutoNation to help drivers find used cars that meet Lyft’s vehicle standards, and a partnership with insurance marketplace eHealth to help drivers find health care.

[Photo: courtesy of Lyft]

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